Saarland steel group separates hydrogen from industrial gases
The Dillingen steelworks has connected a test facility that can separate hydrogen and CO₂ from blast furnace gas. The plant uses innovative membrane processes from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon and Forschungszentrum Jülich.
The plant was put into operation on the site of the Iqony blast furnace gas power plant in Dillingen at the beginning of December. According to a press release from Dillinger, all functional tests were subsequently carried out as planned. Further tests to separate CO2 from the flue gas of the power plant and then from blast furnace top gas are planned for the coming months.
The project partners want to find out what the optimum conditions are for capturing CO2 from large industrial plants such as steelworks. The captured CO2 could then be used as a raw material in other industries. In a later phase of the project, a test plant of the VDEh-Betriebsforschungsinstitut (BFI) for the separation of hydrogen from blast furnace gas and coke oven gas is to follow at Dillinger.
Recovered hydrogen for own industrial processes
The project is part of a project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection called "Membrane processes for the separation of carbon dioxide and hydrogen from industrial gas", or "MemKoWI" for short. A total of nine partners from industry and science are involved: Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, Aktien-Gesellschaft der Dillinger Hüttenwerke, atech innovations, Deutscher Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Iqony, Linde, thyssenkrupp Polysius, VDEh-Betriebsforschungsinstitut.
In the upcoming tests, the project group is using various polymer and ceramic membrane materials in different configurations. The findings will be used to further optimize the membrane technologies. The materials come from the laboratories of the Hereon Institute and the Jülich Research Center.
In the long term, the Saarland-based steel group not only wants to use the separation processes to decarbonize its production, but also to use the CO2 and hydrogen gases obtained as raw materials for its industrial processes. In the medium term, they could also be used outside the steel industry in terms of sector coupling and the circular economy.